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Home » Tropical fruits » Vanilla


Scientific Name - Vanilla planifolia

Common Name - Vanilla

Appearance - Thick, fleshy, shiny, dark brown pod.

In addition to the content given in the table below the fruit also contains 9 mg of Sodium, 148 mg of Potassium, 288 kcal of energy, 12.65 g of Carbohydrates, 0.06 g of fats and protein.

Vitamins (Per 100 g)
Niacin 0.425 mg
Vitamin B2
0.095 mg
Vitamin B5
(Pantothenic acid)
0.035 mg
Vitamin B6
0.026 mg
Minerals ( Per 100 g)
Copper 0.072 mg
Calcium 11 mg
Iron 0.12 mg
Magnesium 12 mg
Manganese 0.230 mg
Phosphorus 6 mg
Zinc 0.11 mg
Source: USDA National Nutrient data base
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  1. Spiders do not like vanilla or rather allergic to it. So use vanilla beans to keep them away.

  2. It is an antacid and heat neutralizer, hence it can be used to reduce acidity and spiciness and add sweetness to very hot and spicy food.

  3. It is a powerful scent which can be used to mask other unpleasant odors.

The three main forms in which vanilla is used in commercial preparations

  • Whole pods
  • Powdered form
  • Extract

Flavoring food with vanilla may be achieved by adding vanilla extract or by cooking vanilla pods in the liquid preparation. A stronger aroma will be attained if the pods are split in two, exposing more of the pod's surface area to the liquid in which you have dropped the pods.

When it is done like this pod' seeds are mixed into the preparation. Natural vanilla gives a yellow or brown color to the preparation, depending upon the concentration. Vanilla of good quality has a strong aromatic flavor. The major use of vanilla is in flavoring ice creams.

People generally consider this flavor to be the default flavor of ice creams. Though vanilla is said to be the rich flavoring agent on its own, it is also used to enhance the flavor of lot of other substances like caramel, custard coffee and so on. In the cosmetic industry it is used as scent for many products and they are also used in the perfume manufacturing.Go to Top

In the old medicinal literature, vanilla was described as aphrodisiac and it is also used for the treatment of fevers. But, all these are not scientifically proven. Vanilla is also considered as mildly addictive. The essential oils present in them are used in aroma therapy.

Vanilla comes under the tropical fruit category. Vanilla is generally used as a flavoring which is derived from the orchids. Though it is a fruit by nature, they are very extensively used as a spice or a flavoring agent. Vanilla is the one edible fruit of the orchid family, which is the largest flowering plant in the world.

The United States is the world's major consumer of vanilla, followed by Europe. Around 1500 tons of dried vanilla are been produced worldwide each year. Since vanilla is in so much of demand and expensive as well, most often synthetics are used instead of natural vanilla. 97% of vanilla used as a flavoring agent is synthetic.

The dairy industry uses the major percentage of the world's vanilla in ice creams. Vanilla plant is the world's most labor-intensive agricultural crop.There are nearly 150 varieties of vanilla plants out of which only two are used commercially, which include bourbon and Tahitian. The second most expensive spice next to saffron is vanilla.

It is expensive because of the extensive labor required to grow the vanilla seed pods. Regardless of the expense, it is highly valued for its amazing flavor and is used in both domestic and commercial purpose like aromatherapy, baking, perfume manufacturing and so on. Go to Top

Vanilla Recipes

1. Creamy Vanilla Fruit Salad

  • Halved straw berries – 2 cups
  • Blue berries - 1 cup
  • Pineapple chunks – 1 cup
  • Sliced kiwis – 1 cup
  • Mango cubes – 1 cup
  • Fresh cream – 1 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
Creamy Vanilla Fruit Salad
  1. Mix all the fruits together.
  2. Add vanilla essence now mix thoroughly so that it is evenly spread all over.
  3. Finally top it with fresh cream and refrigerate for sometime.
  4. Serve chill.
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2. Vanilla fruit tarts

Vanilla fruit tarts
  • Milk - 1¾cup
  • Fresh fruits cut - 1/2 cup
  • Drained canned fruit
  • Egg (beaten) – 1
  • Pastry sheets thawed – 1 pk
  • Vanilla pudding mix – 1 pk
  1. Do all the pre- preparation for the muffin pan cups which has to be kept inside for baking.
  2. Pour the pastry mixture in to the muffin pan cups, bake for 10 minutes or till the pastries are light brown in colour.
  3. Remove the pan cups from the oven and let it cool.
  4. Mix the pudding mix along with milk in a bowl according to the directions given in the pack.
  5. Cover it and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  6. Take about 1 tablespoon of pudding mixture into each pastry cup, top it with fruits.
  7. Serve chill!!!
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3. Creamy vanilla cookies

  • Refined flour - 250 gm
  • Custard powder - 50 gm
  • Baking powder - 1/3 tsp
  • Ghee/butter - 150 gm
  • Powdered sugar - 150 gm
  • Pineapple essence - 1/4 tsp
  • Cashew, tutty fruity - 100 gm
  • Vanilla essence - 2-3 drops
  • Fresh cream – 5-6 tbsp
Creamy vanilla cookies
  1. Sieve maida, custard powder and baking powder together and add vanilla essence to it and mix well.
  2. Beat sugar and ghee in to a nice paste separately in a bowl; beat it for some ten to fifteen minutes.
  3. Now mix the powder mixture to the ghee paste.
  4. Add cashews, tutty fruity to the mixture, mix it well with some fresh cream and make it into fine dough.
  5. Cut them into desired shape, decorate them with cashew, and bake it at 250 ° C till golden brown.
  6. Creamy yummy cookies ready.
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